Effect of Composition and Morphology on Sensor Properties of Aerosol Deposited Nanostructured ZnO+In2 O3 Films


The structural characteristics are investigated of nanoheterogeneous films comprising ZnO, In2 O3 and ZnO + In2 O3 composite produced by aerosol spray pyrolysis technique (SPT). The process utilizes water solutions of zinc chloride and indium nitrate precursors. The X-ray diffraction data show that the SPT process results in polycrystalline films of hexagonal wurtzite type ZnO, and In2 O3 crystals of cubic structure. SPT-synthesized ZnO + In2 O3composites contain mixtures of these crystals. The morphology of the synthesized films is studied by scanning electron microscopy as well as the dependence of morphology on the synthesis conditions, specifically the temperature of the aerosol precipitation and the concentration of the precursors in solutions. The characteristics of nucleation and growth of oxide crystals during the synthesis of ZnO + In2 O3 composite films are also considered. The film with the composition 25 wt% ZnO + 75 wt% In2 O3 contains a large number of small crystal aggregates of arbitrary shape with a high density of contacts between the aggregates and are characterized by a homogeneous structure with high dispersion. Such morphology has high specific surface, which favors high sensory response. In addition, in this range of aggregate composition the relationship between the particles of the catalytically active component- ZnO, cleavage of hydrogen molecule, and In2 O3particles with a high concentration of conduction electrons is close to optimal for the maximum sensory effect in the detection of hydrogen.

Share and Cite:

Trakhtenberg, L. , Khatami, S. , Gerasimov, G. and Ilegbusi, O. (2015) Effect of Composition and Morphology on Sensor Properties of Aerosol Deposited Nanostructured ZnO+In2 O3 Films. Materials Sciences and Applications, 6, 220-227. doi: 10.4236/msa.2015.63026.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Kruis, F.E., Fissan, H. and Peled, A. (1998) Synthesis of Nanoparticles in the Gas Phase for Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Applications—A Review. Journal of Aerosol Science, 29, 511-535.
[2] Perednis, D. and Gauckler, L.J. (2005) Thin Film Deposition Using Spray Pyrolysis. Journal of Electroceramics, 14, 103-111.
[3] Kalantar-zadeh, K. and Fry, B. (2007) Nanotechnology-Enabled Sensors. Springer, New York.
[4] Perednis, D. (2003) Thin Film Deposition by Spray Pyrolysis and the Application in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Ph.D. Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.
[5] Trakhtenberg, L.I., Gerasimov, G.N., Gromov, V.F., Kozhushner, M.A. and Ilegbusi, O.J. (2012) Experimental Investi- gations and Modeling of Gas Sensing Effect in Mixed Metaloxidenanocomposites. In: Korotcenkov, G., Ed., Chemical Sensors: Simulation and Modeling, Momentum Press, New York, 261-296.
[6] de Lacy Costello, B.P.J., Ewen, R.J., Ratcliffe, N.M. and Sivanand, P.S. (2003) Thick Film Organic Vapour Sensors Based on Binary Mixtures of Metal Oxides. Sensors and Actuators B, 92, 159-166.
[7] Comini, E., Ferroni, M., Guidi, V., Faglia, G., Martinelli, G. and Sberveglieri, G. (2002) Nanostructured Mixed Oxides Compounds for Gas Sensing Applications. Sensors and Actuators B, 84, 26-32.
[8] Kim, K., Cho, P., Kim, S., Lee, J., Kang, C., Kim, J. and Yoon, S. (2007) The Selective Detection of C2H5OH Using SnO2-ZnO Thin Film Gas Sensors Prepared by Combinatorial Solution Deposition. Sensors and Actuators B, 123, 318- 324.
[9] Trakhtenberg, L.I., Gerasimov, G.N., Gromov, V.F., Belysheva, T.V. and Ilegbusi, O.J. (2012) Effect of Composition on Sensing Properties of SnO2 + In2O3 Mixed Nanostructured Films. Sensors and Actuators В, 169, 32-38.
[10] Trakhtenberg, L.I., Gerasimov, G.N., Gromov, V.F., Belysheva, T.V. and Ilegbusi, O.J. (2013) Conductivity and Sens- ing Properties of In2O3 + ZnO Mixed Nanostructured Films: Effect of Composition and Temperature. Sensors and Ac- tuators B, 187, 514-521.
[11] Moon, W.J., Yu, J.H. and Choi, G.M. (2002) The CO and H2 Gas Selectivity of CuO-Doped SnO2-ZnO Composite Gas Sensor. Sensors and Actuators B, 87, 464-470.
[12] Neri, G., Bonavita, A., Micali, G., Rizzo, G., Pinna, N., Niederberger, M. and Ba, J. (2008) Effect of the Chemical Composition on the Sensing Properties of In2O3-SnO2 Nanoparticles Synthesized by a Non-Aqueous Method. Sensors and Actuators B, 130, 222-230.
[13] Tofield, B.C. (1987) State of the Art and Future Prospects for Solid State Gas Sensors. In: Moseley, P.T. and Tofield, B.C., Eds., Solid State Gas Sensors, Adam Hilger, Bristol, 198-237.
[14] George, J. (1992) Preparation of Thin Films. CRC Press, New York, 339-342.
[15] Khatami, S.M.N., Ilegbusi, O.J. and Trakhtenberg, L.I. (2015) Mathematical Modeling and Experimental Validation of Mixed Metal Oxide Thin Film Deposition by Spray Pyrolysis. Materials Sciences and Applications, 6, 68-77.
[16] Khatami, S.M.N. and Ilegbusi, O.J. (2011) Modeling of Aerosol Spray Characteristics for Synthesis of Mixed-Oxide Nanocomposite Sensor Film. Proceedings of the ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Ex- position, Denver, 11-17 November 2011, 581-589.
[17] Khatami, S.M.N., Kuruppumullage, D.N. and Ilegbusi, O.J. (2013) Characterization of Metal Oxide Sensor Thin Films Deposited by Spray Pyrolysis. Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, San Diego, 15-21 November 2013, V010T11A044-V010T11A044.
[18] Khatami, S.M.N. and Ilegbusi, O.J. (2012) Droplet Evaporation and Chemical Reaction in a Single Multi-Component Droplet to Synthesis Mixed-Oxide Film Using Spray Pyrolysis Method. Proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Houston, 9-15 November 2012, 633-638.
[19] Khatami, S.M.N., Ilegbusi, O.J. and Trakhtenberg, L. (2013) Modeling of Aerosol Spray Characteristics for Synthesis of Sensor Thin Film from Solution. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 37, 6389-6399.
[20] Korotcenkov, G., Brinzari, V. and Boris, I. (2008) (Cu, Fe, Co, Or Ni)-Doped Tin Dioxide Films Deposited by Spray Pyrolysis: Doping Influence on Film Morphology. Journal of Materials Science, 43, 2761-2770.
[21] Look, D.C., Farlow, G.C., Reunchan, P., Limpijumnong, S., Zhang, S.B. and Nordlund, K. (2005) Evidence for Native- Defect Donors in n-Type ZnO. Physical Review Letters, 95, Article ID: 225502.
[22] Barsan, N. and Weimar, U. (2001) Conduction Model of Metal Oxide Gas Sensors. Journal of Electroceramics, 7, 143- 167.
[23] Kohl, D. (1989) Surface Processes in the Detection of Reducing Gases with SnO2-Based Devices. Sensors and Actua- tors B, 18, 71-133.
[24] Jimenez, L.C., Mendez, H.A., Paez, B.A., Ram1rez, M.E. and Rodr1guez, H. (2006) Production and Characterization of Indium Oxide and Indium Nitride. Brazilian Journal of Physics, 36, 1017-1020.
[25] Gopel, W., Rocker, G. and Feierabend, R. (1983) Intrinsic Defects of TiO2: Interaction with Chemisorbed O2, H2, CO and CO2. Physical Review B, 28, 3427-3438.
[26] Karazhanov, S.Z., Ravindran, P., Vajeeston, P., Ulyashin, A., Finstad, T.G. and Fjellvag, H. (2007) Phase Stability, Electronic Structure, and Optical Properties of Indium Oxide Polytypes. Physical Review B, 76, Article ID: 075129.
[27] Brinzari, V., Damaskin, I., Trakhtenberg, L., Cho, B.K. and Korotcenkov, G. (2014) Thermoelectrical Properties of Spray Pyrolyzed Indium Oxide Thin Films Doped by Tin. Thin Solid Films, 552, 225-231.
[28] Janotti, A. and Van de Walle, C.G. (2009) Fundamentals of Zinc Oxide as a Semiconductor. Reports on Progress in Physics, 72, Article ID: 126501.
[29] Jimenez, V.M., Espinos, J.P. and Gonzalez-Elipe, A.R. (1999) Effect of Texture and Annealing Treatments in SnO2 and Pd/SnO2 Gas Sensor Materials. Sensors and Actuators B, 61, 23-32.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.